"Celebrating One’s Inner Child"
What You Need To Know:
BRIGSBY BEAR is sometimes funny, sometimes charming, sometimes sweet, sometimes heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting. However, it does contain some foul language. Also, one of the sister’s precocious girlfriends tries to seduce James at one point. Finally, some of the sister’s friends drink alcohol and it’s implied they consume marijuana. That said, BRIGSBY BEAR eventually promotes family, friendship and the inspirational qualities of creativity. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for BRIGSBY BEAR.
(Ro, BB, C, LL, V, S, AA, DD, M) Light Romantic worldview where people are considered basically good, mitigated by strong moral, heartwarming elements celebrating family, friendship and the positive qualities of creativity that can inspire people and bring them together, plus some redemptive elements in a children’s program where goodness and light overcome evil and darkness; 15 obscenities (14 “s” words), one Jesus profanity and three OMG profanities, plus a couple comical references to “penis” in one line of dialogue; some comic violence includes a comical explosion during the making of a home movie that’s a little bigger than intended, man escapes mental clinic by throwing a TV through a window, and fighting during a children’s television program; passionate kissing between a teenage girl and a childlike young man, who’s been totally sheltered from society and acts like a young teenager, and she starts to unbutton his pants, then he runs out; teenage alcohol use, mostly implied but not totally; a person hands naïve young man an Ecstasy pill, and it causes an hallucination, plus implied marijuana use off-screen when teenager says he brought some marijuana to a camping trip; and, sheltered kidnap victim is suddenly freed after 25 years and has trouble adjusting to life in the real world, police detective takes some evidence collected and returns it to kidnap victim while explaining their have enough other evidence to convict the man’s kidnappers, and a fantasy character says some goofy childlike aphorisms, but also says you should only trust “the familial unit.”
BRIGSBY BEAR is a quirky comedy about a very naïve 25-year-old kidnap victim freed by the police, who’s still fascinated by the weird children’s TV program that his captors made to entertain and educate him. BRIGSBY BEAR is weird, funny and charming, and sometimes heartbreaking and uplifting, but the worldview is a bit Romantic, and the movie contains some foul language and teenage substance abuse, so extreme caution is required.
The movie opens by introducing viewers to James and his kidnappers, Ted and April. April kidnapped James when he was an infant, and Ted went with the flow after seeing how happy the infant made his wife. So, they retreated to a desert bunker, where they pretend the outside world has been destroyed by toxic air pollution. To educate and entertain James, Ted secretly began making a series of science fiction programs, THE ADVENTIURES OF BRIGSBY BEAR, about a galactic bear named Brigsby who travels the universe to do good and defend it from an evil alien named Sun Snatcher. James is still fascinated by the fake program, which has grown more sophisticated as he’s aged.
One night, while James is sitting on the roof of their shelter and wearing the obligatory gas mask, the police storm the shelter and arrest Ted and April. They reunite James with his real father and mother, Greg and Louise, and his teenage sister, Aubrey. James awkwardly tries to fit, but he misses watching the new episodes of BRIGSBY BEAR that Ted secretly made for him. When he’s introduced to the world of movies, he decides to make his own Brigsby Bear movie and enlists the enthusiastic help of Aubrey’s high school friend, Spencer.
Their son’s obsession with Brigsby Bear upsets Greg and Louise, who want to wean him away from the influence of his kidnappers. However, the charm of Brigsby can’t be stopped.
BRIGSBY BEAR is sometimes funny, sometimes charming, sometimes sweet, sometimes heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting. However, it does contain some foul language. Also, one of the sister’s precocious girlfriends, tries to seduce James at one point. Some of the teenagers drink alcohol and consume marijuana (mostly off-screen), and one teenager gives James an Ecstasy pill, which causes him to hallucinate being taunted by the villain in the Brigsby Bear tapes. Eventually, though, the drinking and pot smoking by the sister’s friends is exposed and her parents put their foot down. However, the incident has some unfortunate consequences for James and his obsession with Brigsby Bear.
All’s well that ends well, however, and James and his parents find a way to integrate his obsession with Brigsby Bear into their lives, in a delightful and heartwarming way.
In the end, though, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for BRIGSBY BEAR because of the references to teenage substance abuse and the movie’s frequent use of the “s” word.